A Fine And Unusual Pair Of West Indian Satinwood And Partially Gilded Two Door Fitted Cabinets Set With Vernis Martin And Bleu Camieu Panels Allegorical Of The Mythology Of Psyche

English. Nineteenth Century.


Height: 32 ¾” (83 cm); Width including feet: 45” (114.3 cm); Depth: 20 ½” (52.5 cm)

Of polychrome painted and gilt wood. Each with a marble top with canted front corners resting above a Greek key frieze interspersed at the corners and center with crossed palm motif. The paired front doors set with Vernis Martin painted panels of a central classical medallion surrounded by a gold ground with polychrome and blue camaieu grotesques. The doors opening to reveal two short and two long drawers. The canted corners with harebell pendants. The sides with fabric panels behind a gilt-brass grill. Each raised on four giltwood paw feet. 

1st Baron Glanely. Exning House, Suffolk, UK

Messrs. Gray, Son & Cook, Cambridge, Sale Of Contents Exning House, September – October 1942, Lot 80 

Until 1942 these sumptuous satinwood and Vernis Martin cabinets were the property of Sir William Tatem, 1st Baron Glanely (1868–1942), forming part of the furnishing of his magnificent Palladian home, Exning House near Newmarket. The cabinet’s four doors are decorated in the rich and sumptuous gold ground technique known as Vernis Martin, and further enhanced by copious use of an uncommon technique known as bleu camieu, whereby a highly distinctive turquoise blue is used in different shades to create a most striking monochromatic effect. The subject matter of the four central roundels of the panels is each a reference to the mythology of Psyche, drawn from seventeenth and eighteenth century painted sources.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.